Sunday, December 8, 2013

Weekend in Pictures

This has been a fairly (to quote Barney) "legendary" weekend. Put aside the fact that our Friday kicked off with a vomiting five year old, and the weekend went rather well (for a weekend with three kids and a horse sized puppy that is).

Late afternoon Friday it started to snow in Redding, and it kept snowing all through the night until we ended up with this-

We're lucky if it snows once a year in Redding, it's even more rare that the snow actually sticks to the ground. I couldn't have asked for more for our little city boys' first winter in Redding. Saturday we took a walk through the neighborhood, built a snowman, hung some more Christmas lights, and had a snowball fight.

Our tribute to San Francisco :)

I assure you, Jax is in this picture... I'm pretty sure he ducked behind the snowman for the shot. Lola was napping.

On Sunday we braved the cold and headed up to Mt. Lassen to hunt a Christmas tree. 

We have spent a lot of time missing the bay area lately, but I will say it will never hold a candle to this-

It's been years since we have cut down a tree in the woods. After all, there aren't really "woods" in the bay... it was definitely a first for the kids. As much as we tried to prepare them for the 18 degree weather, I don't think we succeeded. They soldiered through a lot of hiking, but after a few small falls in the snow, they were over it. It all culminated with Maddox needing to pee, and not being able to get his pants down fast enough with his gloves on. Picture me, sprinting through the snow, ripping my gloves off, only to pull his pants down mid pee. So now not only was he cold, but he was covered in his own urine, and a good 1/4 mile from the car. Ahh parenthood. The kids ended up spending the rest of the trip in the car, pants-less (heater on of course), while Nolan and I alternated trekking through the woods looking for a tree. 

Here is the difference between childless couples, and couples with young kids:
Childless couple- "Let's go cut a Christmas tree today."
"Okay, when do you want to leave?"
"How about now?"
And they leave.

Couple with young children- "Let's go cut down a Christmas tree today!"
"Okay, when do you want to leave."
"It's 9:30, if we start getting everyone ready now we should be able to leave in an hour."
Three hours later they leave.

Childless Couple- "Let's hike around until we find the tree we like best, no need to rush!"
"Yes, let's just enjoy the day together."

Couple with Young Children- "we're on borrowed time here, let's just pick one and get out, we've been here for four hours! One kid peed on himself, one is soaked, and they're all hungry."
"Good idea, I'll get them in the car, you go find one. Just mark a trail to it in the snow and I'll come back with the saw while you feed the baby."

And so on and so forth. The tree we ended up with is beautiful unique. It is bald in the middle and splits into a sort of wishbone effect at the top. Quite lovely really... 

We made it out of the woods just as the sun was going down.  All in all it was a pretty amazing weekend, and I'm sure we made some amazing memories. 
"Hey Maddox, remember the time you peed all over yourself in the woods?" 

I think everyone was pretty thoroughly exhausted by the end of the trip.

As a side note, if you've never seen this video, it's pretty hilarious. I don't think I could do a better job of describing parenthood...

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Monthly Meal Plans

I've been asked by more than a few people how I manage to put together and grocery shop for a full month worth of meals for our family in one swoop. I'm hoping to shed a little light on that with this post...
First of all let me be clear- I don't sit down and plan out the entire month's dinner menu because I like to. I actually get really annoyed with it. I do it for two major reasons: 
1.) Grocery Shopping with three kids ages five and under, by myself, while trying to stick to a budget is like trying to herd cats while wearing a blindfold. Once a month is more than enough.
2.) The way our budget is set up, and the timing of our paychecks sort of dictate when we can do major grocery shopping trips- once a month. Granted we end up having to run to the store for milk or eggs in between trips, but it's nice to know we have everything we need for our dinners and lunches ready to go in the pantry.

This is my November dinner menu. Obviously it's a little on the skimpy side. Because I got a late start this month, and I took Thanksgiving into account, I didn't have to plan out as many dinners. Hopefully you will get the idea though!

There is a method to my madness, I promise. Normally I try to plan at least four crock pot meals (one per week) which helps keep my weeks a little less hectic, and a few "Nolan friendly" recipes which help keep his nights less hectic when I have to work (two nights per week). I also try to make sure at least half of my meals will have enough leftovers to feed us the next evening. I think this is the key to keeping the budget on track. Other than that I just try to choose recipes that don't call for mass amounts of weirdly expensive ingredients, and of course are delicious! 

The above menu is for 17 nights (six of those meals will create two nights worth of food). The ingredients for those meals, plus groceries for lunches, snacks, home made baby food and breakfast for those 17 days came to a grand total of $160. Honestly I've done better as far as the budget is concerned, but $160 is still pretty good for a family of five!

Hope my tips help those of you attempting to plan a whole month at a time! 


Jax has become obsessed with Star Wars recently, which I have to say is pretty cute. A few nights ago my mom and dad were watching one of the movies with him, and quizing him on who the characters were. The conversation went something like this-

Papa- "Who's that guy? Is that Hans Solo?"
Jax- "Mmmhmm, yup."
Papa- "And who's that furry guy next to him (meaning Chewbaca of course)?"
Jax- (without hesitation or question) "That's Jimmy."
Nana- "Wait, what did you say? What's his name?"
Jax- (without even taking his eyes off the screen) "Jimmy. Sometimes they call him furrrr ball!"

That kid seriously cracks me up. And now every time I watch Star Wars I will think of Jimmy the Wookie.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Kids. They really do say the darndest things.

This morning, as we are rushing through our morning routine like maniacs, desperately trying to get out the door in time to avoid the dreaded kindergarten tardy, Jax stops in the middle of the living room. Standing in only a T-shirt and underwear, he throws his hand up and yells,
 "What is happening to my life?!"

My thoughts exactly son ;)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Have You Seen This Car?

This evening as we were getting the boys ready for baths, Jax suddenly began frantically searching for a very specific hot wheel car (one out of what seems like 1000 hot wheels laying around the house). Apparently it was imperative that he have it for his bath.  As he was trying to explain to us what the car looked like, he stopped mid sentence and ran out of the room. He came back with a piece of paper and began sketching a picture...

"Have you seen this car? This is the car I am looking for!"
Amazingly enough, this picture helped, and we were able to locate the missing blue hotwheel, just in time for a bath.

Roses and Rust

A few weeks ago (okay, more like a month ago), my mom, sister and I teamed up to run a booth at the twice annual Roses and Rust Vintage Market here in Redding. This is the first time I have done anything like this, and it was certainly an interesting experience. The three of us spent months preparing to be be one if literally hundreds of vendors with a 10'x10' booth. Personally I didn't' sell much... for whatever reason this year people just weren't buying furniture (mine was not the only booth not moving bigger pieces, although I'm told in past years furniture just flew out the doors), however the event was great exposure, and certainly a good networking tool.

Our booth, almost ready to open!

This event also gave me the perfect excuse to try a few things I have been meaning to try- like painting upholstry (see the teal armchair in the photo), and checking out the Alameda Flea Market for the first time with my good friend Tegan. Overall it was a great experience, and I'm so glad I got to spend the time with my mom and sister. 

Shortly after Nolan and I got to take a very rare trip without the kids, back to the bay for a day. We got to catch up with good friends, do some shopping, have a nice lunch, and best of all, make some money! I sold this amazing bedroom set for almost $800 over what I paid for it, AND the buyers paid our gas money for the drive down. That TOTALLY makes up for not selling much at Roses and Rust. 

And while we were away, this went down...

Things have calmed down just in time to start preparing for Halloween.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Weekend in Pictures

The last month has been hectic (more on that later). This weekend was the first chance we had to sit and relax, and enjoy just being at home.

Saturday there was a neighborhood wide yard sale going on in our subdivision. Apparently we are not included in the neighborhood, as no one bothered to mention it to us (what are we, chopped liver?!). So after walking around and picking up a few small treasures, we threw our own impromptu yardsale.

We (Nolan) started building a new wood fence to replace the ghetto wire one. There will also be an enclosed area for the dog to run, where he won't be able to demolish my patio furniture, the siding, the drip system, the plants, the dryer vent, and and and and....

Nolan has always wanted a backyard that looks like a campsite. Step one in the process- make cool wooden signs with the kids names.

Pay no attention to my half naked little boys watching TV. That's what they do best. Instead check out that hidious barely funcitonal fireplace insirt. Which one of these things does not belong folks?

Bam baby! Despite the horrible picture, doesn't that look SO much better? Have I mentioned how cool our landlord is? 

We ended the weekend by putting up some Halloween decorations (I'll post pics of those when they're done), and starting Fall out the only way our family knows how- with the flu. This is how you know when Jax is truly sick. He turns bright red, and lays on the couch all day looking as pathetic as can be. One diagnosis of strep throat, some antibiotics and we're on our way. Happy October everyone!


Today Tracy had to pick me up from work because I had a flat tire on the bike. We are all in the car and we have to go to Safeway to get something for dinner. Jax is sick so I drop Tracy off at the front door and I drive around the parking lot keeping the kids quiet. I find a spot to park that allows me to see the main entrance of Safeway, and I notice a sign next to me. Jax starts spelling the letters for the sign that says "flu shots here". "F....L....U....S....H....O....T"
Then Maddox goes "F U daddy"
I look back at him and say, "what?"
"F U daddy" as he says it and starts laughing.
I tell him it's "F...L...U, flu like you are sick."
He says, "no that's disgusting"
Now I'm really hoping Tracy gets out here soon.
I back it up and start driving around again.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Missile's Bed

I was trying to dry Missile's bed and I knew he would tear it up if he got it so I through it on the roof. Well it decided to be windy today. I guess I was right!!!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Bird Jesus

Tonight Tracy was at her dad's working and I had the kids. It was getting darker and I wanted to go outside to see the clouds because it is going to rain tonight and it looked like it.
We all headed out in the front yard and I looked up and was telling the boy's about the rain cloud's then Jax says, "daddy have you heard of a rain bird?"
I said, "well yes."
He then says, "well the rain birds eat all the rain so it won't rain anymore."
"Really!" I said.
"But daddy, if the rain birds eat to much they will get to big and then they will die."
I started smiling "Oh!!!"
He wasn't smiling.
Then he said, "yeah daddy, if they die they go to bird Jesus."
I started laughing.
"Oh, I mean they go up in the sky." Jax had a little smile on his face.
He is amazing.

Monday, September 16, 2013


The other day I hear Jax saying "radioactive" over and over. Then I put it together and I asked him, "are you singing?"
He said yes with a silly smile. I told him he was doing good and he wanted to here the song so here it is...

Monday, September 9, 2013

Can you handle it?

We did a family photo shoot over the weekend... the cuteness overwhelms me. More to follow as my mom (and photographer extraordinare) edits.
Until then, prepare yourself for the overwhelming adorableness that is our children :-)

Saturday, September 7, 2013


I've been wanting to put this up for awhile, but keep forgetting.
Just before Lola was born Tracy was in IVIG and Jax, Maddox and I where at home in San Carlos. We were waiting to go somewhere and I told Jax we would be leaving in 10 minutes. I showed him where ten minutes was on the clock, but he didn't want to go... instead he said "daddy we need a bigger clock". I love the mind of a 4 year 5.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

(Last) Weekend in Pictures

A friend of mine has inspired me to write "Weekend in Pictures" posts. So, until I think of a different name, I will be blatantly ripping off Twelve13 (Sorry Tegan!).
I realize today is Thursday. What can I say, I'm behind... a lot.

Here is our (last) weekend in pictures-

Found this amazing (yes I did just call this amazing) Kent Coffey piece in the parking lot of Salvation Army for $8. 

Which led to a lot of this.

Can you believe it's supposed to look like this?

Painted the Jenny Lind high chair I've had burried in the garage. This will be Lola's whenever she decides sitting up on her own is worth while. 

School clothes shopping (yikes!!)

Throwing rocks in the river.

Getting dirty. REALLY dirty.

Taking baths.

Sharing toys.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Projects Never End!

Nolan tells me I can't sit still, and I'm starting to believe him. Here's what I've been up to lately:

Scored a 1964 Magnavox Astro Sonic (even the name is awesome) record player on craigslist for $30. It may as well have been free! I originally bought it to flip, since these things sell in the $500 range, BUT ended up loving it so much that we kept it. Even Nolan was begging me not to sell it, and he usually doesn't get excited over my furniture finds, so I knew it was a keeper. Not only is it in perfect condition, it actually came with the original manual, warranty card, tags, etc. And through the wonders of technology Nolan managed to wire it to play music through our tablets/phones without damaging the piece at all. Hello Pandora!

I have been on the hunt for the perfect mid century dresser for Lola's bedroom, and about a month ago I landed on this-

Ew right? Who covers a perfectly good mid century dresser in awful black paint?
Enter Tracy.

After a lot paint stripping, and even more sanding I was finally able to get it down to bare naked wood, ready to stain.

I took a long break after finishing the frame... there's only so much sanding a girl can take! Last week I finally worked up the strength to finish the drawers, and whoola! Here's the finished project-

Ignore the terrible photo, it really doesnt do it justice. I couldn't be happier with how it turned out!!

And finally, on a much smaller scale, some artwork.

I love canvas photos, but never want to fork out the money for them. Here's how I made three 11"x14" canvas photos for under $20:

I purchased three canvases at Joann's at a 50% off sale. I also used a Michaels Coupon for 20% off my entire purchase (did you all know you can use Michaels coupons at Joanns?), making all three about $4!
I had prints made at Office Depot using a coupon code, making all three about $10.

To mount the prints to the canvas I mod podged the backs of them, sticking them to the canvas. Then I mod podged over the top of them, let them dry, and painted the edges of the canvas (and a little onto the photos) black. There you have it! 
I have to say, this was my first time working with mod podge. I'm not a fan.